A Brooklyn teen begins to realize her identity as a lesbian, a fact that adds further distress to the already strained marriage between her cold, controlling mother and loving but naive father. "Pariah" is a thoughtful coming of age story from Dee Rees that is centered on a wonderfully nuanced performance from Adepero Oduye portraying a shy, intelligent young woman who is beginning to come out of shell. As her parents Kim Wayans borders on becoming a maniacal gay hating villain, but Charles Parnell succeeds in becoming more than just a type, and brings strength and empathy to his role. While watching "Pariah", I thought of "A Better Life", another recent release. Both tell urban stories, photographed with uncommon beauty for their settings, who's central protagonist is going against the grain simply to achieve the basic guarantees of the American dream.